California Civil Code

Laws Governing Natural Hazard Disclosure

California Civil Code of TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY: Disclosure of Natural and Environmental Hazards, Right-to-Farm, and Other Disclosures Upon Transfer of Residential Property

CALIFORNIA CODES CIVIL CODE SECTION 1103-1103.14

1103. (a) Except as provided in Section 1103.1, this article applies to the transfer by sale, exchange, installment land sale contract, as defined in Section 2985, lease with an option to purchase, any other option to purchase, or ground lease coupled with improvements, of any real property described in subdivision (c), or residential stock cooperative, improved with or consisting of not less than one nor more than four dwelling units.

    (b) Except as provided in Section 1103.1, this article shall apply to a resale transaction entered into on or after January 1, 2000, for a manufactured home, as defined in Section 18007 of the Health and Safety Code, that is classified as personal property intended for use as a residence, or a mobilehome, as defined in Section 18008 of the Health and Safety Code, that is classified as personal property intended for use as a residence, if the real property on which the manufactured home or mobilehome is located is real property described in subdivision (c).

    (c) This article shall apply to the transactions described in subdivisions (a) and (b) only if the transferor or his or her agent is required by one or more of the following to disclose the property’s location within a hazard zone:

        (1) A person who is acting as an agent for a transferor of real property that is located within a special flood hazard area (any type Zone “A” or “V”) designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or the transferor if he or she is acting without an agent, shall disclose to any prospective transferee the fact that the property is located within a special flood hazard area if either:

        (A) The transferor, or the transferor’s agent, has actual knowledge that the property is within a special flood hazard area. (B) The local jurisdiction has compiled a list, by parcel, of properties that are within the special flood hazard area and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the parcel list.

        (2) A person who is acting as an agent for a transferor of real property that is located within an area of potential flooding designated pursuant to Section 8589.5 of the Government Code, or the transferor if he or she is acting without an agent, shall disclose to any prospective transferee the fact that the property is located within an area of potential flooding if either: (A) The transferor, or the transferor’s agent, has actual knowledge that the property is within an inundation area. (B) The local jurisdiction has compiled a list, by parcel, of properties that are within the inundation area and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the parcel list.

        (3) A transferor of real property that is located within a very high fire hazard severity zone, designated pursuant to Section 51178 of the Government Code, shall disclose to any prospective transferee the fact that the property is located within a very high fire hazard severity zone and is subject to the requirements of Section 51182 of the Government Code if either: (A) The transferor, or the transferor’s agent, has actual knowledge that the property is within a very high fire hazard severity zone. (B) A map that includes the property has been provided to the local agency pursuant to Section 51178 of the Government Code and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the map and any information regarding changes to the map received by the local agency.

       (4) A person who is acting as an agent for a transferor of real property that is located within an earthquake fault zone, designated pursuant to Section 2622 of the Public Resources Code, or the transferor if he or she is acting without an agent, shall disclose to any prospective transferee the fact that the property is located within a delineated earthquake fault zone if either: (A) The transferor, or the transferor’s agent, has actual knowledge that the property is within a delineated earthquake fault zone. (B) A map that includes the property has been provided to the city or county pursuant to Section 2622 of the Public Resources Code and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the map and any information regarding changes to the map received by the county.

       (5) A person who is acting as an agent for a transferor of real property that is located within a seismic hazard zone, designated pursuant to Section 2696 of the Public Resources Code, or the transferor if he or she is acting without an agent, shall disclose to any prospective transferee the fact that the property is located within a seismic hazard zone if either: (A) The transferor, or the transferor’s agent, has actual knowledge that the property is within a seismic hazard zone. (B) A map that includes the property has been provided to the city or county pursuant to Section 2696 of the Public Resources Code and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the map and any information regarding changes to the map received by the county.

       (6) A transferor of real property that is located within a state responsibility area determined by the board, pursuant to Section 4125 of the Public Resources Code, shall disclose to any prospective transferee the fact that the property is located within a wildland area that may contain substantial forest fire risks and hazards and is subject to the requirements of Section 4291 if either: (A) The transferor, or the transferor’s agent, has actual knowledge that the property is within a wildland fire zone. (B) A map that includes the property has been provided to the city or county pursuant to Section 4125 of the Public Resources Code and a notice has been posted at the offices of the county recorder, county assessor, and county planning agency that identifies the location of the map and any information regarding changes to the map received by the county.

    (d) Any waiver of the requirements of this article is void as against public policy.

1103.1. (a) This article does not apply to the following transfers:

        (1) Transfers pursuant to court order, including, but not limited to, transfers ordered by a probate court in administration of an estate, transfers pursuant to a writ of execution, transfers by any foreclosure sale, transfers by a trustee in bankruptcy, transfers by eminent domain, and transfers resulting from a decree for specific performance.

        (2) Transfers to a mortgagee by a mortgagor or successor in interest who is in default, transfers to a beneficiary of a deed of trust by a trustor or successor in interest who is in default, transfers by any foreclosure sale after default, transfers by any foreclosure sale after default in an obligation secured by a mortgage, transfers by a sale under a power of sale or any foreclosure sale under a decree of foreclosure after default in an obligation secured by a deed of trust or secured by any other instrument containing a power of sale, or transfers by a mortgagee or a beneficiary under a deed of trust who has acquired the real property at a sale conducted pursuant to a power of sale under a mortgage or deed of trust or a sale pursuant to a decree of foreclosure or has acquired the real property by a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

        (3) Transfers by a fiduciary in the course of the administration of a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship, or trust.

         (4) Transfers from one coowner to one or more other coowners.

         (5) Transfers made to a spouse, or to a person or persons in the lineal line of consanguinity of one or more of the transferors.

         (6) Transfers between spouses resulting from a judgment of dissolution of marriage or of legal separation of the parties or from a property settlement agreement incidental to that judgment.

        (7) Transfers by the Controller in the course of administering Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 1500) of Title 10 of Part 3 of the Code of Civil Procedure.

        (8) Transfers under Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 3691) or Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 3771) of Part 6 of Division 1 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

        (9) Transfers or exchanges to or from any governmental entity.

    (b) Transfers not subject to this article may be subject to other disclosure requirements, including those under Sections 8589.3, 8589.4, and 51183.5 of the Government Code and Sections 2621.9, 2694, and 4136 of the Public Resources Code. In transfers not subject to this article, agents may make required disclosures in a separate writing.

1103.2. (a) The disclosures required by this article are set forth in, and shall be made on a copy of, the following Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement:

NATURAL HAZARD DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

This statement applies to the following property:________________________________________

The transferor and his or her agent(s) or a third-party consultant disclose the following information with the knowledge that even though this is not a warranty, prospective transferees may rely on this information in deciding whether and on what terms to purchase the subject property. Transferor hereby authorizes any agent(s) representing any principal(s) in this action to provide a copy of this statement to any person or entity in connection with any actual or anticipated sale of the property.

The following are representations made by the transferor and his or her agent(s) based on their knowledge and maps drawn by the state and federal governments. This information is a disclosure and is not intended to be part of any contract between the transferee and transferor.

THIS REAL PROPERTY LIES WITHIN THE FOLLOWING HAZARDOUS AREA(S):

A SPECIAL FLOOD HAZARD AREA (Any type Zone “A” or “V) designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Yes ____ No ____ Do not know and information not available from local jurisdiction ____

AN AREA OF POTENTIAL FLOODING shown on a dam failure inundation map pursuant to Section 8589.5 of the Government Code. Yes ____ No ____ Do not know and information not available from local jurisdiction ____

A VERY HIGH FIRE HAZARD SEVERITY ZONE pursuant to Section 51178 or 51179 of the Government Code. The owner of this property is subject to the maintenance requirements of Section 51182 of the Government Code. Yes ____ No ____

A WILDLAND AREA THAT MAY CONTAIN SUBSTANTIAL FOREST FIRE RISKS AND HAZARDS pursuant to Section 4125 of the Public Resources Code. The owner of this property is subject to the maintenance requirements of Section 4291 of the Public Resources Code. Additionally, it is not the state’s responsibility to provide fire protection services to any building or structure located within the wildlands unless the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has entered into a cooperative agreement with a local agency for those purposes pursuant to Section 4142 of the Public Resources Code. Yes ____ No ____

AN EARTHQUAKE FAULT ZONE pursuant to Section 2622 of the Public Resources Code. Yes ____ No ____

A SEISMIC HAZARD ZONE pursuant to Section 2696 of the Public Resources Code. Yes (Landslide Zone)____________________________ Yes (Liquefaction Zone) _________________________ No ____ Map not yet released by state ____

THESE HAZARDS MAY LIMIT YOUR ABILITY TO DEVELOP THE REAL PROPERTY, TO OBTAIN INSURANCE, OR TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE AFTER A DISASTER. THE MAPS ON WHICH THESE DISCLOSURES ARE BASED ESTIMATE WHERE NATURAL HAZARDS EXIST. THEY ARE NOT DEFINITIVE INDICATORS OF WHETHER OR NOT A PROPERTY WILL BE AFFECTED BY A NATURAL DISASTER. TRANSFEREE(S) AND TRANSFEROR(S) MAY WISH TO OBTAIN PROFESSIONAL ADVICE REGARDING THOSE HAZARDS AND OTHER HAZARDS THAT MAY AFFECT THE PROPERTY.

Signature of Transferor(s)____ Date___________

Signature of Transferor(s)____ Date___________

Agent(s)______________________ Date___________

Agent(s)______________________ Date___________

Check only one of the following: ( ) Transferor(s) and their agent(s) represent that the information herein is true and correct to the best of their knowledge as of the date signed by the transferor(s) and agent(s).

( ) Transferor(s) and their agent(s) acknowledge that they have exercised good faith in the selection of a third-party report provider as required in Civil Code Section 1103.7, and that the representations made in this Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement are based upon information provided by the independent third-party disclosure provider as a substituted disclosure pursuant to Civil Code Section 1103.4. Neither transferor(s) nor their agent(s) (1) has independently verified the information contained in this statement and report or (2) is personally aware of any errors or inaccuracies in the information contained on the statement. This statement was prepared by the provider below: Third-Party Date___________ Disclosure Provider(s)________

Transferee represents that he or she has read and understands this document. Pursuant to Civil Code Section 1103.8, the representations made in this Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement do not constitute all of the transferor’s or agent’s disclosure obligations in this transaction.

Signature of Transferee(s)____ Date___________

Signature of Transferee(s)____ Date___________

    (b) If an earthquake fault zone, seismic hazard zone, very high fire hazard severity zone, or wildland fire area map or accompanying information is not of sufficient accuracy or scale that a reasonable person can determine if the subject real property is included in a natural hazard area, the transferor or transferor’s agent shall mark “Yes” on the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement. The transferor or transferor’s agent may mark “No” on the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement if he or she attaches a report prepared pursuant to subdivision (c) of Section 1103.4 that verifies the property is not in the hazard zone. Nothing in this subdivision is intended to limit or abridge any existing duty of the transferor or the transferor’s agents to exercise reasonable care in making a determination under this subdivision.

    (c) If the Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued a Letter of Map Revision confirming that a property is no longer within a special flood hazard area, then the transferor or transferor’s agent may mark “No” on the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement, even if the map has not yet been updated. The transferor or transferor’s agent shall attach a copy of the Letter of Map Revision to the disclosure statement.

    (d) If the Federal Emergency Management Agency has issued a Letter of Map Revision confirming that a property is within a special flood hazard area and the location of the letter has been posted pursuant to subdivision (g) of Section 8589.3 of the Government Code, then the transferor or transferor’s agent shall mark “Yes” on the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement, even if the map has not yet been updated. The transferor or transferor’s agent shall attach a copy of the Letter of Map Revision to the disclosure statement.

    (e) The disclosure required pursuant to this article may be provided by the transferor and the transferor’s agent in the Local Option Real Estate Disclosure Statement described in Section 1102.6a, provided that the Local Option Real Estate Disclosure Statement includes substantially the same information and substantially the same warnings that are required by this section.

    (f) (1) The legal effect of a consultant’s report delivered to satisfy the exemption provided by Section 1103.4 is not changed when it is accompanied by a Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement.

       (2) A consultant’s report shall always be accompanied by a completed and signed Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement.

       (3) In a disclosure statement required by this section, an agent and third-party provider may cause his or her name to be preprinted in lieu of an original signature in the portions of the form reserved for signatures. The use of a preprinted name shall not change the legal effect of the acknowledgment.

    (g) The disclosure required by this article is only a disclosure between the transferor, the transferor’s agents, and the transferee, and shall not be used by any other party, including, but not limited to, insurance companies, lenders, or governmental agencies, for any purpose.

    (h) In any transaction in which a transferor has accepted, prior to June 1, 1998, an offer to purchase, the transferor, or his or her agent, shall be deemed to have complied with the requirement of subdivision (a) if the transferor or agent delivers to the prospective transferee a statement that includes substantially the same information and warning as the Natural Hazard Disclosure Statement.

1103.3. (a) The transferor of any real property subject to this article shall deliver to the prospective transferee the written statement required by this article, as follows:

        (1) In the case of a sale, as soon as practicable before transfer of title.

        (2) In the case of transfer by a real property sales contract, as defined in Section 2985, or by a lease together with an option to purchase, or a ground lease coupled with improvements, as soon as practicable before execution of the contract. For the purpose of this subdivision, “execution” means the making or acceptance of an offer.

    (b) The transferor shall indicate compliance with this article either on the receipt for deposit, the real property sales contract, the lease, any addendum attached thereto, or on a separate document.

    (c) If any disclosure, or any material amendment of any disclosure, required to be made pursuant to this article is delivered after the execution of an offer to purchase, the transferee shall have three days after delivery in person or five days after delivery by deposit in the mail to terminate his or her offer by delivery of a written notice of termination to the transferor or the transferor’s agent.

1103.4. (a) Neither the transferor nor any listing or selling agent shall be liable for any error, inaccuracy, or omission of any information delivered pursuant to this article if the error, inaccuracy, or omission was not within the personal knowledge of the transferor or the listing or selling agent, and was based on information timely provided by public agencies or by other persons providing information as specified in subdivision (c) that is required to be disclosed pursuant to this article, and ordinary care was exercised in obtaining and transmitting the information.

    (b) The delivery of any information required to be disclosed by this article to a prospective transferee by a public agency or other person providing information required to be disclosed pursuant to this article shall be deemed to comply with the requirements of this article and shall relieve the transferor or any listing or selling agent of any further duty under this article with respect to that item of information.

    (c) The delivery of a report or opinion prepared by a licensed engineer, land surveyor, geologist, or expert in natural hazard discovery dealing with matters within the scope of the professional’s license or expertise, shall be sufficient compliance for application of the exemption provided by subdivision (a) if the information is provided to the prospective transferee pursuant to a request therefor, whether written or oral. In responding to that request, an expert may indicate, in writing, an understanding that the information provided will be used in fulfilling the requirements of Section 1103.2 and, if so, shall indicate the required disclosures, or parts thereof, to which the information being furnished is applicable. Where that statement is furnished, the expert shall not be responsible for any items of information, or parts thereof, other than those expressly set forth in the statement.

        (1) In responding to the request, the expert shall determine whether the property is within an airport influence area as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 11010 of the Business and Professions Code. If the property is within an airport influence area, the report shall contain the following statement:

NOTICE OF AIRPORT IN VICINITY

This property is presently located in the vicinity of an airport, within what is known as an airport influence area. For that reason, the property may be subject to some of the annoyances or inconveniences associated with proximity to airport operations (for example: noise, vibration, or odors). Individual sensitivities to those annoyances can vary from person to person. You may wish to consider what airport annoyances, if any, are associated with the property before you complete your purchase and determine whether they are acceptable to you.

        (2) In responding to the request, the expert shall determine whether the property is within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, as defined in Section 66620 of the Government Code. If the property is within the commission’s jurisdiction, the report shall contain the following notice:

NOTICE OF SAN FRANCISCO BAY CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT COMMISSION JURISDICTION

This property is located within the jurisdiction of the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Use and development of property within the commission’s jurisdiction may be subject to special regulations, restrictions, and permit requirements. You may wish to investigate and determine whether they are acceptable to you and your intended use of the property before you complete your transaction.

        (3) In responding to the request, the expert shall determine whether the property is presently located within one mile of a parcel of real property designated as “Prime Farmland,” “Farmland of Statewide Importance,” “Unique Farmland,” “Farmland of Local Importance,” or “Grazing Land” on the most current “Important Farmland Map” issued by the California Department of Conservation, Division of Land Resource Protection, utilizing solely the county-level GIS map data, if any, available on the Farmland Mapping and Monitoring Program website. If the residential property is within one mile of a designated farmland area, the report shall contain the following notice:

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO FARM

This property is located within one mile of a farm or ranch land designated on the current county-level GIS “Important Farmland Map,” issued by the California Department of Conservation, Division of Land Resource Protection. Accordingly, the property may be subject to inconveniences or discomforts resulting from agricultural operations that are a normal and necessary aspect of living in a community with a strong rural character and a healthy agricultural sector. Customary agricultural practices in farm operations may include, but are not limited to, noise, odors, dust, light, insects, the operation of pumps and machinery, the storage and disposal of manure, bee pollination, and the ground or aerial application of fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. These agricultural practices may occur at any time during the 24-hour day. Individual sensitivities to those practices can vary from person to person. You may wish to consider the impacts of such agricultural practices before you complete your purchase. Please be advised that you may be barred from obtaining legal remedies against agricultural practices conducted in a manner consistent with proper and accepted customs and standards pursuant to Section 3482.5 of the Civil Code or any pertinent local ordinance.

1103.5. (a) After a transferor and his or her agent comply with Section 1103.2, they shall be relieved of further duty under this article with respect to those items of information. The transferor and his or her agent shall not be required to provide notice to the transferee if the information provided subsequently becomes inaccurate as a result of any governmental action, map revision, changed information, or other act or occurrence, unless the transferor or agent has actual knowledge that the information has become inaccurate.

    (b) If information disclosed in accordance with this article is subsequently rendered inaccurate as a result of any governmental action, map revision, changed information, or other act or occurrence subsequent to the delivery of the required disclosures, the inaccuracy resulting therefrom does not constitute a violation of this article

1103.7. Each disclosure required by this article and each act that may be performed in making the disclosure shall be made in good faith. For purposes of this article, “good faith” means honesty in fact in the conduct of the transaction.

1103.8. (a) The specification of items for disclosure in this article does not limit or abridge any obligation for disclosure created by any other provision of law or that may exist in order to avoid fraud, misrepresentation, or deceit in the transfer transaction. The legislature does not intend to affect the existing obligations of the parties to a real estate contract, or their agents, to disclose any fact materially affecting the value and desirability of the property, including, but not limited to, the physical condition of the property and previously received reports of physical inspection noted on the disclosure form provided pursuant to Section 1102.6 or 1102.6a.

    (b) Nothing in this article shall be construed to change the duty of a real estate broker or salesperson pursuant to Section 2079.

1103.9. Any disclosure made pursuant to this article may be amended in writing by the transferor or his or her agent, but the amendment shall be subject to Section 1103.3.

1103.10. Delivery of disclosures required by this article shall be by personal delivery to the transferee or by mail to the prospective transferee. For the purposes of this article, delivery to the spouse of a transferee shall be deemed delivery to the transferee, unless provided otherwise by contract.

1103.11. Any person or entity, other than a real estate licensee licensed pursuant to Part 1 (commencing with Section 10000) of Division 4 of the Business and Professions Code, acting in the capacity of an escrow agent for the transfer of real property subject to this article shall not be deemed the agent of the transferor or transferee for purposes of the disclosure requirements of this article, unless the person or entity is empowered to so act by an express written agreement to that effect. The extent of that agency shall be governed by the written agreement.

1103.12. (a) If more than one licensed real estate broker is acting as an agent in a transaction subject to this article, the broker who has obtained the offer made by the transferee shall, except as otherwise provided in this article, deliver the disclosure required by this article to the transferee, unless the transferor has given other written instructions for delivery.

    (b) If a licensed real estate broker responsible for delivering the disclosures under this section cannot obtain the disclosure document required and does not have written assurance from the transferee that the disclosure has been received, the broker shall advise the transferee in writing of his or her rights to the disclosure. A licensed real estate broker responsible for delivering disclosures under this section shall maintain a record of the action taken to effect compliance in accordance with Section 10148 of the Business and Professions Code.

1103.13. No transfer subject to this article shall be invalidated solely because of the failure of any person to comply with any provision of this article. However, any person who willfully or negligently violates or fails to perform any duty prescribed by any provision of this article shall be liable in the amount of actual damages suffered by a transferee.

1103.14. (a) As used in this article, “listing agent” means listing agent as defined in subdivision (f) of Section 1086.

    (b) As used in this article, “selling agent” means selling agent as defined in subdivision (g) of Section 1086, exclusive of the requirement that the agent be a participant in a multiple listing service as defined in Section 1087.

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